Kick Back by KJ

I have never read anything by KJ before June of 2020. Well let me tell you what, I will not pass this author by again. Kick Back was a fantastic read. I was utterly charmed by the story and it’s two leading ladies.

KJ takes us into the world of women’s Australian Football League. If you are a sport’s fan like me and follow any US women’s professional league (NWSL, WNBA, NWHL…) you will real understated the backdrop of the story well. Little to no pay, crap facilitates, little to no media coverage and using sex instead of skill to sell the brand.

Sophia Lindstrom is one of South Melbourne’s star players. Sophia works full time as the co-owner of an upscale high-end food and wine boutique. She spends the rest of her time training to be the best athlete she can be. Sophie suffers from anxiety and the fear that anyone she loves will eventually leave. This leaves her permanently single and only engaging in casual superficial relationships. Her focus is on work, her community and making sure South Melbourne wins.

Cam Weathers is a journalist for a less that reputable newspaper, The Post. Cam has big dreams of being an investigative journalist but right now to pay her bills as staff writer. Cam’s latest assignment is to write puff pieces on the women of the AFL. Her editor doesn’t want her to write about sports, or the sacrifices these women make only about their skin care routines and other mindless crap.

Cam and Sophia butt heads immediately. Sophia does not appreciate Cam’s approach to the sport and Cam sure as hell doesn’t appreciate Sophia’s commentary on her profession. As these two get to know each other, dislike turns to like and a friendship with an underlying attraction develops. This is a slow burn romance that keeps you hanging on to every word.

KJ has written a superb book. The plot is multi-faceted, the story well developed, and the pacing is perfect. I loved the characters. Cam and Sophia are strong, yet vulnerable. Their romance is just about as sweet as you can get. You felt the love and attraction these two had for each other well before it was spoken.

I love a slow burn, so this one just spoke to me. I cannot recommend this book enough. So so good!

5 out of 5 stars

Kick Back by [K J]

Before You Say I Do by Clare Lydon

Clare Lydon always delivers a damned good read. I appreciate that she delivers humor, dynamic characters, relatable dialogue, happiness and fun. You have to love a book that leaves you with a smile and a heart full of joy. Before You Say I Do is one of Lydon’s best works to date. I was hooked on this book and could not put it down to the end.

Jordan Cohen is a professional bridesmaid. Yes, this is a thing y’all. She delivers a service to her brides that makes everyone look and feel good. She helps with wedding preparations, acts a psychologist, mediator and best friend to her clients. Jordan’s goal is for the wedding to go off without a hitch, and make the bride love every minute leading up to the big day. she has thrown herself into her work, and has left very little time to find true love.

Abby Porter has settled on marrying her best friend, Marcus. She adores him, and figures the passion will come later. Abby, like Jordan spends most of her time working. She isn’t particularity happy wit her career, but she is very successful and good at what she does. Marcus, the fiance, hires Jordan to help Abby finish out the wedding plans, as he she’s she is too busy with . He sees that she is more focused on her work to really be bothered with the details of the big day.

Jordan and Abby have chemistry for days. Their heat jumps right off the page from the get go. Lydon gives us sexiness and tension as these two leading ladies get to know each other better. I loved how the angst really built up as both Jordan and Abby wanted more but could not because Abby was engaged.

This is a fun and dynamic read that I just adored. As always, Clare Lydon, delivers a great read.

4.25 out of 5 stars

Storm Lines by Jessica L. Webb

I am a big fan of Jessica L. Webb’s other books and was super excited to see she had published another book. If you have read Webb’s books you know unequivocally she is going to give you a book that is different and amazing. This author excels in the details, whether it be the character’s background, the police procedure, a medical plan of action. It is all well researched and relayed to the reader with rawness and heart.

When we meet Constable Bridget “Marley” Marlowe, she has just been beaten up and stabbed. Let to bleed out in a dirty alley, all Marley can do is hope someone comes along to help. Just in the knick of time, psychologist, Dr. Devon Wolfe appears and renders aid. This traumatic experience binds the two women together. Devon cannot get Marley out of her mind and becomes a friend to the injured officer. When Marley asks her to help a struggling family their bond strengthens and they vow to face to dangers to help out a struggling child no matter what the consequences may be. 

The book is very clever. The romance elements between Devon and Marley work really well. You can feel their attraction and the progression, of falling in love through the thriller/mystery elements of the story. Jessica L. Webb writes another winner, you will not be disappointed with this one. 

4.25 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/storm-lines-by-jessica-l-webb-3298-b

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Drawn by Carsen Taite

Carsen Taite’s latest novel, take us back to Dallas and drops us write in the middle of a murder mystery with a heaping dash of romance. Taite excels at writing this type of novel, she drew me in and give me a ton of anxiety. I was reading feverishly to find out how the damned killer was.

Riley Flynn is an up and coming artist who just landed a deal with a highly sought after Dallas art gallery. This is the big break she has been working for. On the flip side, life is throwing more at her than she needs right now. She needs to focus on her art, not deal with her father, and the bucket loads of drama that him being back entails. Frank Flynn, Riley’s dad was convicted of a brutal murder fifteen years ago. Frank has been released from prison because new information and DNA samples have shed new life on his case. He has always proclaimed his innocence, but that does not erase the terrible years that Riley has had to endure because of his trial. Upon his release and weeks from her gallery show, a murder near Riley’s neighborhood in Dallas have made both Frank and Riley suspects.

Claire Hanlon is the lead homicide detective on the murder of a young woman who has been strangled and left with an urban art sketch in her suit pocket. There is a lot of heat on her to wrap this case up as fast as possible. The higher-ups want a Flynn to be brought in, but Riley knows that this will just create a media frenzy. Claire is not convinced Riley or her dad had anything to do with this heinous crime. She just can’t prove it yet, and the pressure to wrap it up quickly and her attraction to Riley is not helping matters at all.

The story leading up to finding out who the killer is is really good. You have a detailed story with shifting POV and it draws you in. You have multiple layers of the plot that give the story depth and really engage you, the reader. My only complaint is the story is too short. We needed more, to wrap up the ending and we needed more one on one with the mains. The romance felt like a side note, and while I got lust. I didn’t get true love. I needed Taite to show me more than the attraction between Riley and Claire. A few more chapters would have made this book go from good to great. Even with all that said, this is a book well worth your time.

3 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/drawn-by-carsen-taite-3271-b

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Entangled by Melissa Brayden

Entangled by Melissa Brayden
Swoon! That is the best way to describe Brayden’s newest novel, Entangled. The book just makes you swoon. This book makes your heart happy. It is sweet, romantic, fun and there is wine. How can you not love that delicious combination?

Joey Wilder inherits her family’s small but mighty Oregon winery. The grapes, the land, it is her life and she loves it. She wants to make her family proud and continue making world-renowned wine but she has some changes she wants to make as well, and she does by bringing in two friends to take Tangle Valley Vineyard to the next level. As open as Joey is to some change, she is definitely not okay with the new resort that is opening up in her town.

Becca Crawford is amazing at what she does. Opening successful resorts are her jam and she is excited about her latest project, The Jade, is Whisper Wall, Oregon. She wants to make this place her home, finally putting all f her attention in one resort from the ground up. Becca is stunned to find out that most of the residents while polite really don’t want The Jade to open. She has some fancy footwork to do to get her neighbors to accept the resort and the hardest to win over might be Joey Wilder.

As always Melissa Brayden writes a really good book. While this isn’t my favorite of her works, I enjoyed my time with it immensely. Being the first in a series, Brayden had a lot of characters and settings to get the reader familiar with. This is where I think the book lost traction in the romance department. I wanted just a bit more one on one with Becca and Joey. Still a fantastic read, one I highly recommend.

3.75 stars out of 5

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/entangled-by-melissa-brayden-3283-b

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Endgame by Zoe Reed

If you have never read a book from Zoe Reed, I am actually jealous of you. Why, because if you take my advice and drop everything you are doing and start reading everything Zoe has written, you my friend are in for one hell of a treat. Seriously, when this writer writes, I read. Hold the phone, hold the world, drop it all and read. Plus if you love soccer, I do (I 100% live for it), you will love this one too. No worries if you are here for the romance, and blah on chasing a little ball, you will love it too.

Audrey Caplan is heading into her senior year of college. Goals become captain of her soccer team and lead them to the national championship. Yeah so little goals, right. 🙂 Audrey has 100% committed herself to doing everything in her power to get the team ready for a successful season.

First day of practice an new teammate arrives. Morgan Bailey arrives as a senior transfer. This forward is challenging Audrey for the captain’s armband and as well as giving her hell on the field. These two figure out really quickly that they push each other to be better players and have more offensive power when they work together.

If you are like nope, I don’t want read soccer all dang afternoon, Tiff, do not fear. Yes, there is the soccer but Reed gives us just enough and focuses on the dynamic between our two leading ladies. This is first and foremost a romance with sport as the glue that binds. Audrey and Morgan grow from competitors to friends and then more. This is a sweet romance that gives you all the feels. ALL THE FEELS!

5 out of 5 stars

Endgame by [Zoe Reed]

Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Endgame-Zoe-Reed-ebook/dp/B087PL41J2/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=9798628330258&linkCode=qs&qid=1591217688&s=books&sr=1-1&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sout-20

A Roll in the Hay by Lola Keeley

A Roll in the Hay is Lola Keeley latest novel and dang it is a good one. If you adore a good “get of on the wrong foot” romance this one is for you. These two leading ladies cannot stand each other, till that switch is flipped and love takes over.

Dr. Tess Robinson moves to a a small town to partner with her best friend. They co-own a vet practice, one where Tess will finally be able to work on large animals again. Tess is leaving behind a disastrous relationship that destroyed not only her home life but her work life again. Moving to the Scottish countryside is a way for her to start again and get back to doing what she loves.

Lady Susannah Karlson is trying to step out of her late husband’s shadow. She loved him and grieves the loss of their friendship but she has big dreams for the estate she has inherited. Lady Karlson also happens to be the local ice queen, with a reputation of no non-sense. Did I mention she is a closeted lesbian as well.

Susannah and Tess meet and instantly clash. Whatever the reason these tow just do not get along and they don’t hold anything back. This is a romance so ask much as they push each other’s buttons, finally trust builds and well lust too.

Mostly this is fun, light read with an aristocratic ice queen and a sharped tongue veterinarian. You have to love the back and forth between these two main characters, it really takes to book to the next level. I wish the relationship would have has more angst and heat, but that’s just me. Overall a quality read by an outstanding author.

3.75 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Ylva Publishing https://www.ylva-publishing.com/product/a-roll-in-the-hay-by-lola-keeley/

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Waiting for You by Elle Spencer

I love the books Elle Spencer writes. Ever since her first novel Casting Lacey, I have gravitated to everything she has written. BIG FAN! Spencer does a great job with this book, the story reels you in and holds you captive chapter after chapter.

Lindsay Hall is a renowned artist that paints the portrait of a boy she has never met. Over and over again. She knows him, she feels him, but who he is and what he means to her is something she cannot explain. As a teenager, Lindsey and her bestie hypnotized themself, and Lindsey saw herself in another life. A life where she had a son and a wife, but there is trauma and pain in that life she cannot explain. This moment as a teen has defined her life.

Ren Christopher is stopping for a few weeks to see her best friend before she moves to Paris for a new career opportunity. She is escaping from a stage 5 clinger in her past relationship and needs a clean break and quick getaway. Stopping in to see her college friend, she is mesmerized by a painting at the local Main Street art gallery. The portrait of the boy moves something inside of her, and she has to have it no matter the price.

Ren and Lindsey have this connection in this world and in a “past life”. Lindsey knows it the moment she sees Ren but knows she can’t just divulge that info because that’s a lot and could be seen as crazy. How it plays out is really interesting and will keep you entertained throughout the story.

The supporting characters really add dimension and depth to the story. They are absolutely the gems of this book. Angst and drama, but so is silliness and good humor. You get a lot of emotions are wrapped up in a delightful package. This book is your go-to for drama and fun.

4 out of 5 stars

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The Road Home by Erin Zak

Oh, y’all this one is soooooo good. Like 100% amazing and you must read it as soon as humanly possible. Erin Zak has written one of the very best books of the year. My friend, you want this one in your life. Just an outstanding read.

Gwendolyn Carter is a Hollywood actress who is a household name but hasn’t had the breakout role of her dreams yet. She had high hope for a big film role, but just lost out on it and now has no excuse not to go home for her father’s birthday. Gwen avoids going home, at all costs. She has a strained relationship with her mother that has not improved since she fled home after graduating high school.

The Carter family, took in another young lady after Gwen left their sleepy town. Lila Machowicz was one of Mrs. Carter’s star volleyball players and invited Lila to live with them when Lila’s military father was given orders to transfer to Germany. She has become like a second daughter to Mr. & Mrs. Carter. Gwen and Lila have never met and both have giant reservations about doing so.

So we have a lot of family dynamics at play in this one. What we also have is I don’t like you but damn you’re hot kinda action as well. Lila and Gwen have chemistry for days. They also have quick witty banter that keeps you on your toes. I love this angsty drama, it is just an amazing read. I could gush over this one for days, but I am just going to say don’t deny your self this one. It is well worth the price. This is a book you will definitely want to read more than once.

An easy 5 out of 5 stars

The Road Home

Love on the Night Shift by Radclyffe (A Rivers Community Romance | Book 6)

Radclyffe delivers another stellar romance with her 6th installment in the Rivers Community Romance. This series is one of my favorites she had done. If you haven’t started this series, you can totally start at with any of the books, but I would go with #1 and work forward so you don’t miss all character nuances.

In Love on the Night Shift, you start off meeting Blaise Richelieu. Blaise is a single mom and the emergency room night charge nurse. Blaise had her daughter at an early age and has to work her tail off to get where she is today. This defines her as a character. She works hard, she cares for others, and often times she puts her own needs second.

Grady McClure is our other leading lady. Grady is a young surgeon who was ready to break out from the family (all doctors) and start her career somewhere new, where she could thrive and be herself. Grady has never been one for a serious relationship, casual has always served her well. That way of thinking goes right out the window when she meets Blaise on the night shift.

Most of our favorite characters make a cameo in this book. I always look forward to seeing Margie and Blake and how their teen romance is going along.  Grady and Blaise are delightful characters who work their way right into your heart. This is a classic Radclyffe book, it’s well written, the characters are well developed and it leaves you with a smile on the last page.

3.75 out of 5 stars

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